Ipswich boss Jim Magilton hit out at referee Mark Halsey after he sent off young midfielder Liam Trotter in the FA Cup third-round defeat by Portsmouth.
Ipswich's players were furious with Halsey after his decision
Trotter was shown a straight red for a challenge on Pedro Mendes 24 minutes into Town's 1-0 loss at Portman Road.
"I am not condoning it. He was a little late, but from an experienced referee, it was a caution," Magilton insisted.
"Liam is 19 but he has not got a malicious bone in his body. An experienced referee deals with it."
He added: "The boy is inconsolable. He feels as if he has let everybody down, but he hasn't. He is a great lad and has done terrifically well for us."
To go down to 10 men and play the way we did was fantastic
Academy graduate Trotter's participation in the game ended when he led with his studs right in front of the assistant referee on the far side.
Magilton is unhappy about the role Portsmouth coach Joe Jordan played in the incident but has yet to decide if his club will appeal against the decision.
"I think the referee had told Liam he was getting booked. Joe Jordan was in the fourth official's ear telling him it was a sending-off, a straight red, which did not really help the situation.
"But at the end of the day, if he has influenced an experience referee, then we really are in trouble.
"Maybe we will have a sit down and think about it, but I am not going to beg for mercy."
They are a good side and played some terrific football
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp
Magilton felt the incident had ruined the tie as a spectacle but was full of praise for his team's efforts against top-flight opposition.
"We have had a go and the boys did us proud. To go down to 10 men and play the way we did was fantastic," he added.
"They did not lie down and die, and their keeper has made three world-class saves. The lads deserve a lot of credit for that."
Pompey boss Harry Redknapp had some sympathy with Trotter and was also impressed by the Championship outfit.
"It looked a bit harsh. I thought he was going to give the lad a yellow card, and I was surprised to see him pull out the red.
"They are a good side and played some terrific football and in the last 10 minutes, they put us under some pressure when Jamo made some great saves.
"But with some of the sides which have gone out, that shows how difficult the FA Cup can be."